I’m excited to welcome Heidi McCahan back to tell us about her new novel with Love Inspired!
When Plans Derail and Your Tiara Breaks, What’s a Girl to Do?
Hello, Inspy Romance readers! So nice to be visiting with you today. It’s been a while, right? After many months of living both a professional and personal life that didn’t go at all according to how I had planned, and since I can now look back with a mixture of gratitude and amusement at how things have all turned out better than I expected, I think it’s only appropriate that we chat about plans that go, well, off the rails…
Natalie, the heroine of my new release The Firefighter’s Twins is an event planner. Rustic barn weddings held at her family’s farm are her specialty, yet she longs to shed her dual role as event planner and family business manager (she helps run the farm that is now a destination experience with a pumpkin patch, playground, train ride, etc.) so she can focus exclusively on weddings. Enter Shay, the hero, a firefighter and single dad of twin toddler boys who is still reeling because his life isn’t going quite how he’d planned, either.
Because it is prime wedding season here in the United States, and my novel is about a professional event planner, I was thinking about how weddings are a classic example of how we long for our plans to be executed in a flawless manner, yet we all have a story or have chuckled at an online video featuring a blooper or unforeseen mishap.
Allow me to share mine: I chose to get married in my husband’s hometown because he has a large extended family living close by that loved to attend family weddings. I had moved far away from my own hometown and had always lived far from my extended family, so logistically, it was easier to ask my side of the family to travel. We’d planned a low-key afternoon wedding, anyway, and did not expect a huge turnout.
Fast-forward to the evening before, when the rehearsal dinner is over, and I just want to retreat to my hotel room with my parents and relax. Well, that was not what everyone else wanted. Our two-bedroom suite became a revolving door of visitors. I was almost in tears, because I’m an introvert and I needed a minute, you know? I cope by micromanaging, so I started messing with the headpiece that was meant to attach my veil to my hair. It was a tiara (of course!), and somehow I managed to break the top off, which in my frazzled-bride-to-be state was the end of the world. Meanwhile, the socializing continues in the next room, and I’m about to lose it.
My dear sister, who has traveled across the country with her husband and three small children to be a part of the celebration, is in the midst of potty-training her son. Nature calls and he declares this the moment to take care of business. In his sheer delight at achieving success in the bathroom, he wants to share his news with all who’ve gathered nearby. He jumps off the toilet and races past my wedding dress, carefully arranged on a hanger with its glorious train spread out on the floor …right next to the bathroom door.
Have you ever seen the facial expression of a bride who has just realized there is poo on her wedding dress?
Thankfully, this was 2002, and we hadn’t quite figured out how to document our lives with our phones, otherwise this moment might’ve gone viral had there been social media available. There aren’t any photos of this moment, which is probably for the best. I don’t know how I managed to control my reaction, because I wasn’t a mom and had no idea how challenging potty-training can be, but a tiny voice of reason told me not to crush my nephew with my words. I just remember thinking that if I yell and scream at him, he probably won’t ever use the bathroom appropriately again, because he will be so humiliated. It isn’t often in life that I hold my tongue, but I am proud that I was able to do so in the moment.
Sometimes the Lord in His infinite wisdom can whisper truth to us even when our tiaras are broken and there is an unexpected mess at our feet, right?
Bless my aunt who swooped in with a hot glue gun and finagled that dewdrop shaped faux diamond back into its rightful place on my tiara, and used a plastic hotel keycard to scrape the offensive material from the embroidered flowers on the train of my wedding dress. My bridesmaids took me out to Applebee’s so I could relax, my nephew grew up to be a delightful young man, and Steve and I remain happily married.
If your life is not going according to your plans, I hope at some point you can step back and take a breath and try to see the humor. Ultimately I hope that you can lean into God’s promises that He is good, He is for you, and His plans never go off the rails.
One single dad plus twin toddlers
A formula for her new family?
Since his wife left, fireman Shay Campbell has focused on work and his twin toddlers. But the lovely Natalie McDowell is making him rethink that decision. She’s great with his boys, and they adore her. But he can’t go through losing someone again. Will a dream job offer win Natalie’s heart, or does it belong to Shay and the twins?
Heidi McCahan is the author of Covering Home, Unraveled, and Love Flies In.
She is also an active RWA and ACFW member, grand prize winner of the 2014 Idahope contest, and a 2015 finalist in Harlequin’s Blurb 2 Book contest. A Pacific Northwest girl at heart, she was transplanted in the South several years ago, and currently lives in North Carolina with her husband and three boys. Heidi is a huge fan of coffee, dark chocolate, and happily ever after, and can often be found enjoying a good cup of coffee and a great book. The Firefighter’s Twins, her first novel with Harlequin Love Inspired, releases in June 2018.
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Your turn: tell me about a time when life did not go according to plan and yet you can look back now and see how it all worked out. I’ll choose two random commenters on June 4th, 2018 who will each receive an eBook copy of The Firefighter’s Twins. (Void where prohibited.)
Thank you, Heidi! This is a sweet story! I know our readers will enjoy!